MojiPage Blog

MojiPage Speaks Japanese and Chinese

localized screenshot

Recognizing that localization plays a critical role in the mobile user experience, we have localized parts of MojiPage into Japanese (日本語), Simplified Chinese (简体中文), and Traditional Chinese (繁體中文).

If your browser tells us your preferred language, we will automatically detect and use it. Otherwise, you can go to the bottom of any page and select the language of your choice, then click the “Change” button. Also, NTT DoCoMo (NTTドコモ) subscribers should automatically get the Japanese version of the site unless they have manually set it to a different language.

We hope to bring more localization to our users from various parts of the world. If you’d like to see your language supported in MojiPage, drop us a note and we’ll try our best to add it. Of course, we welcome users to submit translations, please contact us using our feedback form!

MojiPage at Internet Week NYC

MojiPage attended two events during Internet Week New YorkIMC NY 2008 and Mashable’s Exhibit Hall.

At IMC NY, we shared with people our love for mobile widgets (as always!),  and talked about using mobile widgets in marketing campaigns.  We met, listened to and exchanged ideas with folks from many interesting mobile contents and service providers like Socialight, Yojo Mobile (creators of MizPee), Winksite and BlogTalkRadio to name but a few.

If you’ve missed IMC NY, you can find a summary of the day’s event and videos on some sessions at: http://www.webanalysts.info/webanalytics/imc-new-york-2008/

Here’s clip on our session, Widgets in Motion - Syndication Beyond the Desktop

Big thanks to Lars Johansson and Lennart Svanberg once again for organizing the event.  We look forward to participating in the next IMC in Vancouver this September.

Mashable’s Exhibit Hall (and networking party) was at the theatre district’s Touch lounge. It was packed by the time we got there. There were several web2.0 startups doing show-and-tell.  Other than the bar, we spent most of our time loitering around CafeMom’s booth. It seemed strange at first that they would be giving out oven mitts as swags, but the mitts really came in handy when holding cold beers. CafeMom may sound like a niche idea to some, but if you do your math on how many new mums there are out there, these folks are dealing with a huge community here. And although we didn’t spend much time talking to the folks exhibiting ConcertAttack, this is another social media site that we like a lot.  Focused on live concert contents, these guys make it really easy for fans and artists to share. We can’t wait to see what these 2 companies will bring to the mobile space down the road.  Lots of cool mobile widgets, please!

Presenting at the Internet Marketing Conference in NYC

IMC Logo MojiPage will be presenting at the Internet Marketing Conference (IMC) in New York on June 4th, 2008. The theme at this IMC event is “Mobile Marketing: The Next Evolution” and that, to us, has the word WIDGETS written all over it.

From the agenda, here’s what we’re gonna be talking about:

Widgets have been used with great success on social media sites. Until now, they were confined to the desktop. As mobile platforms become more sophisticated, and as widget container applications gain widespread acceptance, there has never been a better time to get ready to ride the next big wave.

We will look at how companies can leverage mobile widgets to syndicate their content and capture the attention of users when they’re on the move.

If you plan to be in the area at that time, please join us at the conference by registering here.

Incidentally, this is part of Internet Week New York (3rd - 10th June) along with many other interesting events. We might hop into Mashable’s Exhibit Hall.

A FriendFeed Mobile Widget

FriendFeed Logo

We have just released a FriendFeed widget on MojiPage. It is currently available on our sandbox. It supports authentication as well as paging. It is implemented using the recently released FriendFeed API.

FriendFeed is a great way for you to stay in touch with your friends, and with MojiPage you get to stay in touch while on the go. Check it out here.

UPDATE June 16, 2008: We have merged the sandbox database with our live beta site http://mojipage.com/

MojiPage Supports Yahoo Mobile Widgets

In January, Yahoo announced the first preview of their mobile widget platform. Being in the mobile widget space, we were naturally excited about Yahoo’s entry into the space as it validates our vision and proves that the market is sizable. We dove in and learned more about the platform.

Essentially, you can create two types of thingies – snippets and widgets. Snippets are a simplified and less flexible version of a widget, and can appear on the Yahoo! mobile home page or Yahoo! Go home widget. Widgets, on the other hand, are richer applications with more control over the user interface layout and may span multiple screens.

Snippets and widgets are written in Blueprint – a declarative markup language based on XForms. Since Blueprint is declarative, much of the logic resides on the developer’s web server, which has the ability to dynamically serve Blueprint files to be rendered and interpreted by Yahoo servers or the Yahoo Go mobile app.

This is a different architecture from our own MWA, but each has its own merits. From the end users’ perspective, though, there is absolutely no difference. Anything that can be written using Blueprint (with server-side scripting) can be achieved using MWA, and vice versa. We think that Yahoo has done a great job in designing an elegant widget platform. In fact, we like it so much that we have developed a prototype to support Yahoo mobile widgets on MojiPage! We did say that MojiPage is a widget platform, didn’t we?

So if you’re developing a widget for the Yahoo widget platform, we invite you to submit your snippets and widgets onto our sandbox.

To submit your widget:

  1. Visit the sandbox URL: http://mojipage.com/

  2. Click on “Add Widgets” on the top menu

  3. Scroll down half way down the page and click on the link under “Widgets Anywhere”

  4. Enter the URL to your zip archive (application bundle containing your config.xml and other metadata). We currently do not support application bundle upload yet.

  5. The MojiPage server will fetch the archive and install the snippet/widget, then make it available on the “Add Widgets” screen. Make sure you specify a less common description in the config.xml file to help you easily identify it.

As this is an early preview, some blueprint tags may not be supported. However, we have tested it against the sample Twitter widget provided by Yahoo.

Should you run into any issue, feel free to leave a comment below.

Have fun hacking!

Why Is MojiPage the Way It Is?

It’s time to drill a little deeper into the technical side of MojiPage, and why we did it that way. Let me address the latter point by quoting an article by Tom Yager’s “Ahead of the Curve” column titled ”The mobile app gold rush”:

The solution to the GUI dilemma is well in hand: HTML. While quality varies, all platforms have competent and improving Web browsers, which holds out the potential to use JavaScript, HTML, and CSS for user interfaces rather than cumbersome and proprietary APIs for text, graphics, motion, and input. Keep in mind as well that JavaScript has facilities for XML parsing, HTTP communication, and Web services. JavaScript performance is laughable on some handsets, but native or Java code fronted by an HTML/CSS/JavaScript GUI would impress and get apps to market faster.

The paragraph above nicely sums up our beliefs, which led us to our decision to base our platform on the lowest common denominator of MoMoMo devices (Yes, I just coined that term) – XHTML.

By requiring nothing but XHTML support, we can make ourselves useful to almost any phone that has data access today.

This may sound like MojiPage is just a bunch of CGI scripts from the 90s. Well, not really..

As I’ve said, MojiPage is a widget platform targeted at mobile devices, and that our widgets are written using standard web technologies – XHTML, Javascript and CSS.

When a widget is added to our platform (by giving us just the URL to the widget HTML file), our server downloads the widget HTML and executes the Javascript in it by emulating the browser environment. Since the Javascript runs on the server, it has full access to remote RSS feeds, XML and JSON content without cross-domain limitations and uses a combination of DOM the widget output and server-side extension APIs to accomplishes whatever features it needs to support. The result is a static chunk of HTML code which is then served to the client.

Bear in mind that HTML is only the baseline on which we can gracefully degrade our service when the client is less capable of utilizing modern web standards. The technology and API is fully capable of serving Javascript to the client for enhanced interactivity. This will be easily demonstrated by the MojiPage iPhone interface that we are currently working on and made available at the end of March.

This is cloud computing at its best, heterogeneous devices (with varying degrees of power) connecting to smart network of servers running code that pulls data from all over the Internet.

Introducing MojiPage

“Hello world!”

More specifically, “Hello Mobile Internet World!”

That’s the world that MojiPage was born into. A world of nomadic beings, more connected to each other than they ever were during the age of lesser-mobility. MojiPage redefines distributed computing, one of the key defining points of the Internet, by bringing islands of information to people and being a conduit that facilitates communication and information flow between them.

That may sound like a lot of hot air, so let’s be more concrete.

At its core, MojiPage is a mobile widget platform that is capable of hosting widgets developed using standards-based web technologies (XHTML, Javascript, CSS.) You may think of it as a blank canvas that is infinitely customizable using a variety of widgets created by anyone. Our simple-yet-powerful API lets developers perform complex calculation, syndicate remote feeds, create mashups of web services, plus anything that a turing complete language provides.

As a testimony of the widget platform, we are developing our flagship product – MojiPage (the mobile site! Yes, like a self-titled album.) It has already gone through the first round of private alpha, and we have gathered feedback and rolled them in.

While the alpha is running smoothly right now, we are working hard to develop the social aspects of the site. Yes, I mentioned “social”! IMHO, what makes our approach work better than the way most social networking sites did it is that the rather than retrofitting widgets (or app, gadget, module, whatever you wish to call it) support into social networking sites, MojiPage is a widget framework to begin with. So, widgets are first-class citizens. This allows us to easily extend the platform to embellish it with different sets of features, while still being able to separate the core platform from the packaging. More on that in another post.

Here’s a brief timeline of MojiPage:

  • June 2007 - idea conceived

  • September 2007 - completed working prototype. Formed team to work towards a private alpha

  • November 2007 - Led a session on Mobile Widgets in MobileCampNYC2 (blog coverage by Sebastian and Dawa - thanks!)

  • December 2007 - Private Alpha launched. Moji Labs incorporated.

From this point on, we will be charging ahead to refine the product and develop new features. We will also be launching our developer support site soon, so stay tuned!